Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is a role-playing action game. It was developed by The Game Designers Studio and published for the GameCube by Nintendo in 2003 in Japan and in 2004 in North America, Europe and Australia. In the Final Fantasy series, Crystal Chronicles was the first title released for a Nintendo console since Final Fantasy VI in 1994.
In the game, the players take control of a group of adventurers who travel the world searching for rare trees which produce “myrrh” which was then used to fuel crystals protecting the world’s settlements from the poisonous Miasma. The adventurers set out from their village, travel to the trees that guard the vessel, which gathers the myrrh, explore dungeons where the trees reside, then return to their home and renew their village’s protective crystal.
On 21 December 2002, the game was officially announced at the Jump Festa event in Japan. In the following year in April, a western release was announced. Crystal Chronicles was released in Japan on 8 August 2003, after being delayed twice. In North America, the game released the following year on 9 February 2004. In Europe, the game was released on 12 March of that year, while in Australia it released on 19 March. The game was published worldwide by Nintendo.
In September 2018, a remastered version, having the title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition, was announced. It was later confirmed for release worldwide. It was later also announced for iOS and Android mobile platforms. When Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition was first announced in 2018, Square Enix said it would be released in late 2019. The company then delayed its release to January 23rd, 2020. In December 2019, the release date was again changed to summer 2020. The game is set to release worldwide on 27 August 2020. Originally scheduled for a release in January 2020, it was delayed past the original planned release so the development team could further polish the game. The new version was originally confirmed for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
A new “mimic” feature allows players to take on the form of other characters. The multiplayer function has also been enhanced, as online multiplayer is available for the first time in addition to cross play across all platforms. The remaster includes enhanced graphics, new and arranged music, new dungeons, voice acting, and cross-platform online multiplayer.
Producer Ryoma Araki talked with senior staff about remastering older games after finishing work on another project even when they had the option to remake it keeping the game faithful to the memories of earlier players, as Araki wanted. Itahana returned, creating new lead character designs, but due to positive fan memories the original player designs were kept intact. In addition to enhancing the graphics, the team has also improved the AI character behaviour.